Nameberry Picks: 11 Best Bible Names for Girls

The Bible contains hundreds more boys’ than girls’ names, but the female names in its pages are among the most beautiful and enduring of Western culture.  It’s difficult to pick just a handful of our favorites.  Setting aside such timeless beauties as Anne, Mary, and Elizabeth, we spotlight these choices that combine distinctiveness and style.


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Largely ignored by this generation's parents because of its overuse by the last, the lush name Deborah deserves consideration, not least because of its inspirational Biblical namesake, a judge and a prophet who led the Israelites to victory.

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44 Responses to “Nameberry Picks: 11 Best Bible Names for Girls”

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Elea Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 2:07 am

I work in a small one-form entry Church of England primary (less than 200 pupils) and here are some of the lovely Biblical names our girls have:


Alison Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 2:20 am

Bit off the track but what about temprement inspired names such as:

Nyx Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 2:58 am

Yea, my name made the list (Suzanna/Susanna). It is most definitely time for a comeback of this simple, elegant, feminine name (if I do say so myself!). However, I don’t want to see it zoom into trendiness either…

Triceratops Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 3:51 am

I was hoping to see Ruth and Esther on the list. Both classic and currently underused. And both actually important characters unlike some of these, even if they do have lovely names.

Cicely Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 4:11 am

Why leave out Jemima & Keziah’s sister, Keren-happuch?

ML Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 7:35 am

From the original Hebrew, Dinah is pronounced Dee-nah, not with the same “i” sound as in finer.

phaedra_p Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 8:06 am

Hooray for Lydia! I chose this name for my daughter and get lots of compliments.

I also love Phoebe, Susannah, and Tabitha. (I believe there was a New Testament Susannah who followed Jesus also, but I’d have to look it up.)

Priscilla, Lois, Rhoda, and (if you’re brave) Eunice are other good NT options.

Lola Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 9:43 am

Jemima’s our top name if this one’s a girl!

Deborah’s His older sister. Lovely woman, but not my favorite of his sisters (shh, don’t tell her!). 😉

I love Dinah, but He remembers Dinah Shore (I do, but barely). I also had a Dyna-mite (I always called her Dinah) doll as a kid. Awesome yellow orange hair she had, and a purple jumpsuit. I loved that doll! But Dinah doesn’t work well with the rest of our kids.

Lydia makes me sing “The tattooed Lady!” after, everytime I hear it. *sigh* so pretty though!

Susanna’s gorgeous and one I keep toying with. Josephine & Susanna? Do they sound like sisters to anyone? Not really to me. 🙁

I have a dear friend with a daughter named Tabitha, nn’d Tibby/Tibs/Bits/Bitsy (depending on whom you ask). I can’t use it beause of her, but I’d love to meet more!

Keziah’s my confirmation name, which is how Jemima ended up on our list. As a nod to myself. And I happen to think Josie & Jemma are adorable together!

Magdalene is lovely but that mag- sound is just not that attractive to me.I thought about Magdalena as a middle at one point or another but I really don’t like Mag- on a girl. Yuck.

Eve is pretty, Leah’s kind of plain, Delilah’s too bad girl for my taste & Phoebe’s another friends girl. No go.

What a lovely, lovely list, although I did expect to see Esther, at least here too! 🙂

suzanne Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 11:05 am

Let’s get the bad out of the way: I’ve seen Jemima pop up on lists before and I don’t get it at all. It’s so connected to American slavery (and syrup) that it seems completely off limits, and almost racist. Keziah? What? Someone’s in the kitchen with . . . need I say more? Deborah is awkward to say. Delilah is a naughty naughty girl and I would avoid the name like the plague.

Now the good: Lydia! Love it and has personal significance as the boat on which my ancestors first came to America. I like Eve, but it’s pretty much the ultimate biblical connection so I don’t know if it’s setting lofty goals (of course Mary worked so, maybe). Leah has gone out of style, but I like it’s simplicity. It does have pronunciation issues (Lee or Lee-uh). Tabitha is very cute, but feels like a cat’s name.

Missing: Rebekah (adore this spelling), Ruth, and Esther

suzanne Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 11:09 am

Obviously, some of the good is sort of bad, too. I guess I’m not a big fan of most of these names.

Sara Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 11:32 am

Years ago I worked with a much older woman named Ty. One day I finally asked her how she came to be named Ty and she said she was Vashti from the bible and has always went by Ty.

Johanna Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 11:53 am

Oh please delete Lydia from your minds. I don’t want her to jump in popularity.


April 5th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

The only ones I would consider are variations Magdalena and Shoshana. None of the others seem exciting to me at all.

Jenny Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Dinah will always be ‘dee-nah’ to me after reading The Red Tent. Good name, but I’d hate to constantly be correcting people.

If you think Lydia has no downside, then you haven’t been reading your Jane Austen very carefully.

Nyx Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

@Triceratops – I agree, where’s Esther and Ruth?!!

@Lola – Yes, I feel that Susanna and Josephine would be adorable sibling names 🙂 However, I do agree that Josie and Jemma are cute together too. I love how positive you were about all of the names!

@suzanne – I find it completely unfair to say something is bad about a name just because somebody happened to use it in a song! My name (Suzy/Suzanna) has been used in many songs… and while it’s annoying to have a stranger burst out into song, it’s never altered how I feel about the name (just about the people who do such things!)

@Johanna – I know how you feel about not wanting a name to get too popular! While Lydia may once again break into the top 100 names, I doubt that it will see the top 20 (at least anytime soon).

@Jenny – I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who has the Austen/Lydia connection that keeps bringing me down. I still like the name, but I doubt that I would want to use it…

ibby Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Eve, Leah, Lydia, and Phoebe <3

Urban Mom Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

OK – enough ragging on the name Susan already – I love my name. I am not a grandmother by any stretch – I am in my 30s. To me, the name is timeless whereas Susanna (or Susannah) just makes me think of banjos and buck-wheat cakes. This Christmas my nieces were watching Miracle on 34th Street, where Natalie Wood plays little Susan and they were so excited when they heard my name. I also LOVE the way Cary Grant says “Susan, Susan, Susan” to his leading lady, the great Katharine Hephurn, in Bringing Up Baby. More recently, Susan was the name in the animated Monsters Versus Aliens. And growing up my family nickname was Sukey, which rocks. Some names were popular for a reason – they’re great names. Mark my word, Susan will rise again and, in fact, I heard a Mom call her little girl Susan in the store Anthropologie the other day, and I thought…how adorable.

corsue Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

The great part about names is the significance to each individual. So everyone can have their own opinion and others can choose to care or not to. However, there are some so culturally tied to songs, poems, books, history, etc. that, IMO, they are that song, poem, book, history, etc. For me Dinah is out for that reason as is Susannah. My name is Suzanne which has been converted to the song enough times that it’s a nuisance and for a while Suzanne Somers references were rampant. I still love my name, but if I can avoid any obvious similarities to very common names for my kids, I will (ecspecially when the reference isn’t necessarily flattering).

On the other hand, I detest Jane Austen though I am an English Lit major and have tried hard to care. So names from her books, such as Lydia, I wouldn’t consider off limits because I don’t care and really don’t think most people know about Lydia. That is how some feel about the songs Dinah and Susannah, I’m sure, but IMO the songs are much more well know than Jane Austen characters here in the states.

phoebesmom Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Can someone explain to me how Phoebe is effete? (I’m not offended, just genuinely confused!)

phoebesmom Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

@Urban Mom: I agree with you. Susan is snappy and mid-century mod. I like Susannah, but Susan will certainly rise again, and sooner than many expect.

Azure Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Phoebe is the doppy blonde from friends.

Sisters Tirzah and Noa- the first female landowners in written history according to some sources.

Junia – female apostle

Mary Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I agree with Leah, Eve, Lydia, Susanna, Delilah, and Tabitha. The rest don’t do much for me.

Maggie Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

My question is this: Where is Adah? Adah is a gorgeous name that deserves more recognition. It could also be a variant on Ava. While there are two Adahs in the Bible, the more well-known is Esau’s wife.

Andrea Says:

April 5th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I also like Susan. Every Suzie I’ve ever known has been a bubbly, fun loving blonde and young seeming if not downright young, though I do know a few in their 20s. I also know of a teenage Esther (from a fairly devout Christian family) and think that one is a far better bet for revival than Jemima or Dinah or Keziah. I don’t think any of those three are likely to be popular given the slavery associations.

Junia the female apostle is a good role model.

Sarah Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 12:02 am

Yes on “where is Adah?”! I was so hoping to see her on this list. I adore it. I also really like Dinah. Makes me think of Alice’s cat, which isn’t a bad thing I don’t think.

Toni Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:29 am

I SO enjoyed this posting, especially because of the wonderful art attached to each name!
I was looking for Judith. A wonderful Biblical name! And Miriam, Esther and Ruth as well.

Toni Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:35 am

And isn’t there a Naomi in the Old Testament somewhere?

Toni Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hannah, Jael, Persis, Lois, Sharon!

pam Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:41 am

Say, everybody, I appreciate all the reminders about the wonderful OTHER girls’ names to be found in the bible, but as the title says, these are simply our 11 favorites right now. As I noted in the introduction, it was hard to narrow it down to these and indeed, Adah and Esther nearly made the cut. Subjective, but it’s meant to be.

Toni Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:43 am

Joanna, Mara, and what’s wrong with Martha?

Toni Says:

April 6th, 2011 at 8:45 am

I think that Adah is becoming popular as Ada — think Nicole Kidman’s character in “Cold Mountain” or a twist on the too-trendy Ava. People like that it’s a palindrome.

Leslie Owen Says:

April 7th, 2011 at 3:25 am

I have always loved Jemima and Keziah — Keziah is very literary, the tragic daughter in Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker and in Rumer Godden’s The Diddakoi. I’ve also met a young Jerusha, which might make an interesting comeback. Don’t forget Avra, Keturah, Kinnereth, Talitha, Tovah, Tamara, Abigail, and my own Hebrew name, Michal. There’s also Shulamit(h). And I love Martha and Rachel.

Nicole Says:

April 16th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

My favorite is Abigail. It’s really popular now, but it’s just so lovely and humble!

sanjana Says:

May 8th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

my fav name is kesiah!!!!!!!!

Miriam Says:

May 22nd, 2011 at 11:58 am

My name is Miriam (the biblical sister of Moses and Aaron), and I absolutely love it! I go by Mimi in some circles, and my childhood nickname was Miri. I love how this name is common among Jewish and Muslim people alike (and I happen to be Christian), and when people hear my name they often expect to see someone exotic, when really it’s just little blonde and blue eyed me. It’s often a conversation piece when I meet new people. I was born and raised in Germany, where the name is much more common than in Canada where I live now (at one point I was one of 3 Miriam’s in my class).

April Says:

May 31st, 2011 at 12:01 am

What about Damaris? It’s got such a great connotation. The Bible says in Acts 17:34 that when Paul preached that some people believed and one was a woman named Damaris. I bet we see it rise in popularity here soon. I’m predicting.

kays’s mom Says:

June 12th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

What about Bethany!? No one seems to like it much, but it was a city in the bible…

celine Says:

September 1st, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I was surprised to find out Tabitha is a Bible name. It reminds me of Tabitha, the baby on Bewitched, so it always sounded sort of New Age/ witchy to me. I like it though. I like Susannah or Shoshana and Madeline (didn’t know that was a Bible name either, maybe I should read the Bible more!) Madeline sounds French and makes me think of little girl with straight dark hair and bangs.

BabyLuv Says:

October 14th, 2011 at 3:18 am

I like the idea of Damaris, but I especially love the name Naomi. I think it is absolutely beautiful, feminine and soft.

iamarm Says:

December 9th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

1. Abigial
2. Adah
3. Aiah
4. Elisha
5. Eve
6. Keilah
7. Linden
8. Mary
9. Naomi
10. Rebekah
11. Terah

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